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FIDE World Cup 2023 QF: Praggnanandhaa wins exhilarating tie-breaks, sets up a clash against Caruana in the Semifinals

by Shahid Ahmed - 17/08/2023

R Praggnanandhaa won an absolute thriller tie-break match against his good friend Arjun Erigaisi. It started with two draws before they traded two wins each. They all came with the black pieces. It was time for 3'+2" sudden death Blitz as four Rapid and two 5'+3" could not decide a winner. In an exciting final act of the tie-breaks, Pragg was nowhere to be found and the game had started. He arrived more than 30 seconds after the game and won it. Praggnanandhaa attributes her mother being an attendance and being a pillar of support definitely helped him to etch his name in history. He becomes the first Indian ever to reach the Semifinals of a FIDE World Cup since the current format got introduced in 2005. He will face Fabiano Caruana in the Semis. IM Nurgyul Salimova (BUL) also won a thriller against GM Anna Muzychuk (UKR) to secure her place in the finals.Tomorrow is a rest day. Round 7.1 games start on Saturday, 19th August at 3 p.m. local time, 4:30 p.m. IST. Photos: Maria Emelianova/

Nurgyul creates history by becoming the first IM to advance to a Women's World Cup Finals and Candidates

The tenth edition of the FIDE World Cup has been a record-breaking event, all thanks to the Indian players' outstanding performances. However, the second edition of FIDE Women's World Cup is not without its own history either. Bulgaria no.2 IM Nurgyul Salimova defeated GM Anna Muzychuk to secure her place in the Finals. Nurgyul will face GM Aleksandra Goryachkina, the former Women's World Championship Challenger. Anna did not go down without a fight. Once again, she made a comeback in a must-win situation with the black pieces. However, for the second time when the same situation occurred, it was one time too many. She had already made comebacks against GM Anna Ushenina (UKR) and GM Elisabeth Paehtz (GER) earlier at this event. Anna will face GM Zhongyi Tan (CHN) for the 3rd-4th place match and a spot for the Women's Candidates 2024.

R Praggnanandhaa is absolutely delighted to etch his name in history as he became the first Indian to reach a FIDE World Cup Semifinal since the introduction of new format back in 2005

Praggnanandhaa has virtually secured a spot in the Candidates. However, it is not official yet, because Magnus Carlsen might change his mind if the World Championship Match format is revamped.

FIDE World Cup 2023 and FIDE Women's World Cup 2023 Official logo | Photo: Official site

Arjun - Praggnanandhaa, Tie-breaks 6.3

The first two 25'+10" Rapid tie-break games ended in a draw. Once the feeling out process between - GM Arjun Erigaisi (2681) and GM R Praggnanandhaa (2645) was over, the gloves came off. The first win was scored by Praggnanandhaa in the first 10'+10" Rapid tie-break game. He was completely lost in the queen and rook endgame. However, he just found some practical resources in the final moments.

Position after 43...d5

43...d5 was a nice practical decision in time trouble as it served as the prelude to Black getting back in the game. 44.Qxd5 Qe2 45.Qc4?? this blunder removed White's winning chances and created an opportunity for Black to fight back. Praggnanandhaa eventually went on to win the game.

Arjun Erigaisi vs R Praggnanandhaa - FIDE World Cup 2023 Quarterfinals Round 6.3 | Video: ChessBase India
R Praggnanandhaa vs Arjun Erigaisi - FIDE World Cup 2023 Quarterfinals Round 6.4 | Video: ChessBase India
Praggnanandhaa makes an epic comback - FIDE World Cup 2023 Quarterfinals Round 6.5 | Video: ChessBase India
Insane Comeback by Arjun Erigaisi | Pragg vs Arjun World Cup 6.6 | Video: ChessBase India
Pragg is a monster when it comes to the Italian | Arjun vs Pragg | FIDE World Cup Quarterfinals Game 6.7 | Video: ChessBase India
You won't see Pragg so upset | Praggnanandhaa vs Arjun Erigaisi - FIDE World Cup Quarterfinals Game 6.8 | Video: ChessBase India
Praggnanandhaa on advancing to the FIDE World Cup 2023 Semifinals and a probable Candidates 2024 spot | Video: ChessBase India

After trading wins back and forth, the score was tied at 4-4. It was time for sudden death 3'+2" Blitz games. Praggnanandhaa arrived over 30 seconds late for the game, still he managed to keep his composure and win the game. Thus, he won the match and advanced to the Semifinals where he will face GM Fabiano Caruana (USA).

The final handshake between R Praggnanandhaa and Arjun Erigaisi after a thrilling tie-break games

Praggnanandhaa's mother, Nagalakshmi wondering, why his son is getting late for the important sudden death 3'+2" game

Praggnanandhaa speed walking on his way to the final game

Coach - GM ShyamSundar M and Praggnanandhaa's mother - Nagalakshmi

The final handshake between GM Anna Muzychuk (UKR) and IM Nurgyul Salimova (BUL)

The relief and joy for IM Nurgyul Salimova (BUL)

Nurgyul's trainer - GM Cem Kaan Gokeran

GM Nijat Abasov (AZE) appeared after the match to show his support to Nurgyul along with Cem Kaan
"I didn't calculate tbh, I just trusted my intuition" - IM Nurgyul Salimova creates double history | Video: ChessBase India

Video Gallery

FIDE World Cup and Women's World Cup 2023 Round 6.3 starting moments | Video: ChessBase India
FIDE World Cup and Women's World Cup 2023 Round 6 TB Live Commentary by IM Irine Sukandar (INA) and GM Irina Krush (USA) | Video: FIDE
FIDE World Cup 2023 Round 6 TB Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India
I am just here as their support system - GM Shyam Sundar M, Coach of India | Video: ChessBase India

Results after Round 6 tie-breaks

GM Arjun Erigaisi - GM R Praggnanandhaa: 4-5

IM Nurgyul Salimova - GM Anna Muzychuk: 3.5-2.5


A total of seven games in the Open and four in the Women's event took place in Round 6 tie-breaks.


The total prize fund is US$ 1834000 in the Open and $676250 in the Women, with the first being $110000 and $50000 respectively.

Replay Round 6 TB Open games

Replay Round 6 TB Women games





Official site

Open Regulations

Women Regulations

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